Why don’t our liberal policymakers trust our teachers with guns?

First things: hope everyone had a great Christmas.

The squire and chatelaine of the Stately Manor certainly did. They were guests at Mike-boy and Peg’s even-more-stately manor located deep within Grandma’s Woods in the wilds of Sun Prairie, an agricultural region northeast of the Emerald City. Does anything make Christmas more merry than family, snow-covered forest, and chocolate martinis?

The Lovely Lisa and Number One Son experienced a beautiful Christmas Eve at Christ Presbyterian Church. Christmas morning they roused the Squire from a deep slumber (caused by the chocolate martinis). The three of us gifted each other with sundry non-essential consumer goods under the tree. (The little bubble lights, they’re not bubbling.)

Our tree is all of two feet high, virgin aluminum. Much less stressful, that tree. No longer must the indentured servants dodge wary neighbors to forage for a suitable pine, spruce, or fir. Post-Christmas cleanup is nil.

The Stately Manor, gaily decorated for Christmas

Now, back to recent tragedy and cold public policy.

Do we trust our teachers with our children? Why, I believe we do. They spend more “quality time” with children than many parents. As much as many of us (including liberals like Davis Guggenheim and the late Steve Jobs) hate how teachers unions reward the lowest common denominator, we respect teachers themselves. Good teachers love children. They protect children. But liberals can’t trust them to defend their own lives or those of their students.

The state of Wisconsin trusts adults aged 21 and over to conceal a handgun on their person if they have taken training, have not been convicted of a felony, have not been adjudged mentally ill, and are not subject to a restraining order. But not teachers in a school. Can’t be trusted.

Please tell me how that makes sense. Please tell me you don’t believe that a sign on a wall can stop a madman.

I disagree with the National Rifle Association (Stop the Presses!) that our schools should hire armed guards. There’s little enough money to support education as it is. (See: Obama, economic recession.) The good news, we don’t need to.

Allow local school districts to decide

We already have responsible, law-abiding adults trained in the use of firearms at our schools. They already own their own guns. These upstanding citizens are called teachers and administrators, librarians, counselors, custodians, and office staff.

Allow them to defend themselves and their charges, discreetly but effectively. The Blaska Plan to amend Wisconsin Statute 948.605 would cost taxpayers not one dime.

  • School personnel would not be required to carry a weapon; they need only to be permitted (in both senses of the word) to do so if they are licensed to do so.
  • No other CCW permit-holders would be allowed to carry a weapon on school grounds – only school personnel.
  • The school district could require that school employees who choose to arm themselves self-identify to each school principal as part of its security plan. Those names would be confidential outside the principal’s office but the public would have the right to know how many (the number), if any, are so recorded.
  • The choice to carry a concealed weapon imposes no obligation to act nor any liability for having acted or not acted.
  • School districts could choose to opt out. The Blaska Policy Research Werkes and Tanning Salon (due to a recent merger) is all about choice. I’m betting at least one of the 430-some school districts in the state will choose to try it; others would follow.

I’m scared; guns are icky

“It’s not something the department supports,” the spokesman for the Department of Public Instruction, Patrick Gasper, told this blog. Now, there’s a surprise!

Madison school board member Ed Hughes was apoplectic.

Encouraging licensed employees to carry guns in Madison schools is, hands down, the worst idea for improving our schools I have heard in 2012. If you write me with the same suggestion in two weeks, it will be, hands down, the worst idea I will hear in 2013.

Nicely done, Ed. The gaily decorated halls of the Stately Manor reverberated with wails of laughter at that one. But if Ed has an idea for improving the safety of our schools or if he’s satisfied with the status quo, he’s not sharing.

Each of Madison’s high schools has a police officer assigned to it; they’re the only ones allowed by state law to carry a weapon in a Wisconsin school. The other 78 schools rarely see a cop.

I asked a spate of local elected officials if Madison Police should make schools part of routine neighborhood patrols and whether they trust school personnel to carry concealed weapons if they have undergone the requisite training/background check, etc., under Wisconsin statute.

Mayor Paul Soglin was his usual surly self:

Funny, this email was not addressed to the two people who are in the best position to answer – the Police Chief and the Superintendent of Schools.

Blaska responded:

Or, it is possible that a separate email was sent to those potentates? For the record, I did email Joel Despain, the department’s spokesman. I presume he speaks for the chief. [As for the schools superintendent] I would hope he would follow the dictates of the elected board members. His job is to administer their broad policies.

So, in that, your analogy is false. You are an elected official; the current acting [schools] super is not. You’ve got the bully pulpit, Mayor Paul. You haven’t been shy about using it in the past. Use it now. Plus, you have the police.

The Madison Police Department’s Joel DeSpain was much more civil. He said the schools maintain 30 unarmed civilian security assistants at high schools and middle schools. Patrols have been assigned to Kennedy Elementary “after someone, again, left live ammunition on the playground [last] week.” Here’s guessing that the someone was not a teacher.

“As for whether the MPD would take a position on having armed school personnel, that would be something for our command staff to deliberate.” Fair enough.


‘Gun-free zones are hunting preserves for innocent people’

A closely reasoned, if lengthy, disquisition on allowing teachers who want to be armed in school to do so. An opinion on gun control is written by novelist Larry Correia, a former concealed carry instructor (H/T Ann of Althouse):

The single best way to respond to a mass shooter is with an immediate, violent response. The vast majority of the time, as soon as a mass shooter meets serious resistance, it bursts their fantasy world bubble. Then they kill themselves or surrender. This has happened over and over again. … Cops can’t be everywhere.

The average number of people shot in a mass shooting event when the shooter is stopped by law enforcement: 14. The average number of people shot in a mass shooting event when the shooter is stopped by civilians: 2.5. The reason is simple. The armed civilians are there when it started. …

When I was a CCW instructor … I personally taught several hundred teachers. I quickly discovered that pretty much every single school in my state had at least one competent, capable, smart, willing individual.

The teacher doesn’t need to be a SWAT cop or Navy SEAL. They need to be speed bumps.

Nationwide, at least 23,000 schools – about one-third of all public schools – already had armed security on staff as of the most recent data, for the 2009-10 school year, and a number of states and districts that do not use them have begun discussing the idea in recent days, according to The New York Times.

So what does the grey lady propose? Its lead editorial in its Sunday 12-23-12 edition calls for ending “The scourge of concealed weapons.” Concealed weapons? A scourge? That’s what caused the massacres at Sandy Hook Elementary, Columbine High School, the Aurora movie theater, the Sikh Temple, Northern Illinois University, Virginia Tech?! Concealed weapons? Not!

Platinum subscriber bonus drivel #1: Cut the crapola about America being especially violent. Let’s talk about Spain (a country in Europe). A car bomb was defused in the parking lot of a mega-brothel there after a man got out of a car brandishing a weapon. Three hundred people were evacuated from the mega-brothel. What is this world coming to if you can’t even patronize your local mega-brothel without worrying about mass murder? (And are mega-brothels putting the small mom-and-pop brothels out of business in Spain? Does Walmart know about this? Discuss among yourselves.)

Platinum subscriber bonus drivel #2: Dreamt again last night that I could float a few feet above head level. Those to whom I demonstrated this phenomenon seemed underwhelmed. So far, I can only do it while dreaming, but I still think it’s pretty neat.

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